Christopher ColumbusAugust 1

1498, Christopher Columbus landed on Isla Santa, and became the first European to set foot on what is now Venezuela.

1834, the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect abolishing slavery in the British Empire.

August 2

1776, members of the Continental Congress began signing the Declaration of Independence.

August 4

1821, the Saturday Evening Post is published as a weekly magazine by Atkinson and Alexander.

August 5

1620, the Mayflower departed England for the New World.

1781, the naval Battle of Dogger Bank occurred, pitting British ships against Dutch. The Dutch had been running supplies to, and were aiding America, in her war against British rule. The Dutch won the battle but did not make any more merchant runs until the war was over.

1861, in an effort to raise funding for the Civil War and reconstruction afterwards, the U.S. Congress approved a 3% income tax on incomes over $800/year. The tax was rescinded in 1872.

1884, the cornerstone block is laid on Bedloe’s Island in preparation for arrival of the Statue of LIberty.

August 7

1909, four women complete the first trans-continental auto trip, taking 59 days to travel round trip from New York to San Francisco, California. Out of the 3,800 mile journey, only 152 miles of it were on paved roads. The car was driven by Alice T. Huyler of Hackensack, New Jersey, along with her two older sister-in-laws, and a friend, all of which could not drive. The model of the car was a Maxwell 30. During the trip, Alice changed 11 tires, cleaned the spark plugs and repaired a broken brake pedal. At one point on her trip, in Nevada, the women were surrounded by a hunting party of American natives with their bows drawn.

August 9

1972, a meteor entered earth’s atmosphere over Utah, leaving a blazing fire trail of sparks as it did so, visible in the daylight. The meteor entered at 2:28 pm traveling northerly over Utah and bounced back up 101 seconds later while over Canada.

August 16

1896, gold is discovered in the Klondike River in Canada, setting off a gold rush into Alaska and Canada, with many prospectors departing from Seattle.

August 17 
Pike Place Market

1907, the Pike Place Market began operating in Seattle, and is still open 105 years later.

August 21

1962, the source of the anti-cancer drug “taxol” (paclitaxel) was discovered by a team of botanists. The drug is made from the extract of the bark from a yew tree, found growing in Washington state.

August 22

1906, in Camden, New Jersey, the Victor Talking Machine Company began manufacturing the Victrola, a hand-cranked record player, for $200.

1962, an assassination attempt was made upon French President Charles De Gaulle and his family while en route to the airport. The car they were riding in sustained two flat tires and the back window was shot out, but no one was hurt. More than 120 rounds were fired into the automobile.

August 23

1572, French Catholics take to the streets in protest in Paris, beginning riots and acts of violence against the Huguenots. It became known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

1775, King George III of England declared the American colonies in “out-right open and avowed rebellion.”

1864, the Union Navy captured Fort Morgan in Alabama, an important port city on the Gulf of Mexico.

August 24

1456, printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C. and burnt down the White House and several other buildings.

August 25

1962, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 19 with the mission being to land on Venus. The Venera 2MV-1 craft never left earth’s orbit and re-entered three days later, thereby prompting the Soviet Union’s new policy of never announcing a space launch until it had succeeded, and never publicizing a failed launch.

1972, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Closing price was $33/share but would lose 77% over the next two years. Speculation in a $1,000 investment in 1972 in Wal-Mart stock would have yielded $870,000 by 2008.

August 27

1982, Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A’s stole his 119th base of the season, breaking Lou Brock’s record. Henderson went on to steal 130 bases in 1982, a league record to this day. Henderson ranked in the top-10 for stolen bases for 21 seasons and is MLB’s #1 for career and single season stolen bases. Henderson stole 1,406 bases during his career while playing on nine different teams.

August 28

1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his seventeen-minute-long “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

August 29

1965, the space capsule Gemini V splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean with Gordon Cooper and Charles “Pete” Conrad onboard. They had spent eight days in space.

City of HoustonAugust 30

1836, the city of Houston was founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.

1909, the Burgess Shale fossils are discovered by Charles D. Walcott. He spent the next fifteen years cataloging over 65,000 species of prehistoric Cambrian period animals.

1984, the first launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off for a six-day mission.

August 31

1990, two players of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team, Ken Griffey and his son, Ken Griffey, Jr., became the first father and son to play on the same team, both singled in the first inning.

 Posted by on 08/10/2012 Almanac   Add comments